First version of this article was originally published on 18 August, 2012
For the first time ever, scientists have successfully stored a 300-page book in DNA!
The book contains 53,000 words, 11 images and a software program. It is the largest amount of data yet stored artificially using the genetic material!
Money and storage capacity are two of the reasons why scientists believe it is good to store information in DNA.
DNA can be used to store information at a density about a million times greater than your hard drive,
report researchers in Science today.
The cost of DNA coding is dropping very fast. Scientists expect that within five to ten years it could be cheaper to store information using
this method than in conventional digital devices.
Scientists have previously managed to store non-biological information in DNA, but not such a large amount.
This time Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School and his colleagues have successfully managed to store as much as 5.27 megabit collection of data.
It is 600 times bigger than the largest dataset previously encoded this way.
It took several days to write the data to DNA, but it was obviously worth the effort.
There are a number of advantages with storing data in DNA. Not only is it cheaper, has better storage capacity, but it can
also be easily copied and is still readable thousands of years in non-ideal conditions. The fundamental techniques required
to read and write DNA information are as old as life on Earth.
So the questions remains: "Are you ready for your DNA drive?" You may soon have one. It would seem genetic code is quickly becoming as a form of next-generation digital information storage.
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